Recognising that the issue of end of life care and palliative care are emotionally fraught and with a great sense of empathy and compassion, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria strongly opposes the proposed bill to legalise “voluntary euthanasia” or “assisted suicide” in Victoria. Both suicide, self-killing, and the killing of others in the contexts envisaged by this bill are prohibited by Jewish Law and tradition. The life of the human being, which bears the Divine imprint, is the property of its Creator and cannot be disposed of at will.
“Assisted suicide” and “voluntary euthanasia” corrode the moral structure of society, undermining a culture of familial and societal care and may lead to turning doctors against their obligation to heal or at least, to do no harm. A regime of “voluntary euthanasia” creates great pressures upon the vulnerable – the elderly sick – to relinquish their lives so as not to be a burden upon others. The idea of death as an implementable option to life undermines the morale and outlook of society as a whole, especially of those in psychologically vulnerable circumstances.
We emphatically request the withdrawal of this bill from the Parliamentary agenda.